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Firewood Cutting Guide

Post in 'The Gear' started by jebatty, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I don't regularly follow this forum, so I apologize if this has been covered or already duplicated. Baileys sells a firewood cutting guide which consists of an over-sized chainsaw bar nut plus 3 plastic guide bars to make easy 14", 16" and 18" firewood lengths. I bought this, and then proceeded immediately to break one of the guide bars. They are not too flexible. Then the idea struck me: replace the guide bars with a new guide bar using a spring at the nut end so the bar will flex.

    I bought a spring, made a guide bar out of wood to press into the spring and then fixed the wood bar with a set nail, got a metric bolt that fits the Baileys nut, rounded the head of the bolt to press into the other end of the spring, and then tack welded the spring to the bolt. Now all that is needed is to thread the bolt into the nut, and then the guide bar measures near perfect lengths of firewood, and the spring allows the bar to flex out of the way. Worked so well that I made another one: 16" for firewood for the wood stove and 18" for the gasification boiler. This is really simple and works very well. If you do this, get a fairly stiff spring, strong enough to hold the bar in a horizontal position.

    I put the guide bar on my Stihl 028, and then use that to mark each bucking cut. Then the Husky 372xp goes to work to make each cut through the log. As you all know, consistent lengths of firewood make for easy stacking in multiple rows.

    Attached Files:

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  2. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Neat - think I have an old nut from a trimmer head that i could use.
  3. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Pretty nice Jebatty. I don't cut to any regular "exact" length currently, something around 18" usually, my Charmaster takes up to 30" logs so just about anything will fit in there. However, I was going to start cutting some to sell on the side for next year. I was thinking of rigging up something exactly like this in my mind's eye, you saved me the trouble of exactly how to finagle it. Thanks for posting this up!
  4. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Good idea
    Sell the idea to the manufacturer
    Better mouse trap ;)
  5. Adkjake

    Adkjake Member

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    Really? Geez, I don't want to come across as over the top here. But, hey guys and girls, we're cutting firewood here! Not finished woodwork or even rough framing. Eyeball it, with some repetitions, you'll get pretty good at cutting it to the desired length. Plus, at the end of the day, if you have some 13" or 15" or 17" does it really matter? You are going to burn it! Any mistakes will soon be ash.

    Rant over
    scooby074 likes this.
  6. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    some of us have small stoves or inserts that wont handle anything much over 16", sucks when reloading with a hot bed of coals and you get the split halfway in stove to find out it is to long and is now catching fire
    hrhunter, Leroy_B, n6crv and 2 others like this.
  7. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    It does matter, but you are free to rant as much as you want. Random lengths won't work for me.

    I stack three rows of, for example, 16" lengths, 4-5 feet high, and 8-10' long. One 4 x 4 on one side of the first row, then a 4 x 6 on the other side of the first row, which also is the first side of the 2nd row, then a 4 x 6 which is the other side of the 2nd row and the first side of the 3rd row, then a 4 x 4 for the other side of the 3rd row. If some of the lengths are 13" and some 17", can't make stacking side by side rows. I keep my rows off the ground to let air circulate underneath.

    It's just as easy to make even length cuts as random length cuts.
  8. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Felt marker and mark your bar if it is longer then then your cut. Lot easier and quicker then having a curb feeler hanging off the side of your saw working in the tops and brush.

    Gary
    TreePointer likes this.
  9. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I have my bar marked also, and I use that. On long lengths of logs though, the bar guide is really slick. Do whatever works!
  10. jrendfrey

    jrendfrey Member

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    i use a 16 in bar on my 290 i just hold the saw paralell with the log eyeball a spot were its 16 inches and run the saw through that spot. whatever works for ya though. at least you dont have to turn the saw sideways can get hard on the back bending over like that.
  11. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

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    Random lengths are a PITA as far as i am concerned. I am trying to cut everything at the same length but I would not want that appendage hanging off my saw......could be dangerous
    PapaDave likes this.
  12. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    Hey Adkjake, I get your rant, trust me. Like I said for myself above, length doesn't matter one bit. However some folks have very restrictive stoves and the wood has to be exactly no longer than ....X. I've been running a "cut your own" business this summer and fall at my place to clean up tops from a timbering operation and one guy in particular could only fit 14" stuff in his stove and was cutting it as such. I think the guide idea is good for someone selling it comercially like I plan to do. That way I can have a 14" pile for folks to load from, a 16" one, and and 18" one. I'm not going to get into delivering and such, just plan to have some fairly precise sized piles to go the next step up from "cut your own". This will be "load your own" ..... for a few dollars more of course.

    As for my personal wood, I'm 100% with you on that, would never touch this thing to slow me down. If its under 30" I can throw it in and burn it. And I won't put this on one of my small saws to "mark them to cut off with a bigger saw next", I'll just mount it on one of the bigger suckers and whack them off in one quick precise step. :cool:
  13. oldogy

    oldogy Member

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    Interesting way to get equal length cuts but I just don't think I would want anything like that hanging on my saw. I do believe that thing could get a person in trouble in a trimming environment and I don't believe I would want to take it on and off. I try to plan my cuts from right to left. After a cut, I visually position my 18" bar parallel to the log and make the cut. A long time ago I had a painted stick 18 inches long and went by that but somewhere it got lost. Not claiming to be a pro but I have cut a bit of wood. Like mentioned earlier, I believe, you get a pretty good idea where to make the cut after a while.
  14. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Spencer logging tape, & a SOG tomahawk to mark with when length is critical. Otherwise just eyeball em, I'm usually + or - an inch at most. A C
  15. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    +1
  16. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Whatever works, have at it. I eyeball it, but use the bar length every so often to keep my eyeball calibrated.

    Sold lots of wood this summer and never had anyone complain that I wasn't delivering what I advertised (16" wood, varying split sizes... overnighters to fire starters)
    suprz likes this.
  17. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I don't like to pull out my saw to fix splits that are too long, so I cut everything short and just glue on extra as needed.
  18. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    I have a 16" chunk of broom handle with a rare earth magnet screwed on to the end. It nicely snaps on to the bar of my saw for marking and will fall off if needed. I mark my 16's then grab it off and throw into my back pocket for bucking. Super convenient and total investment of $ 0.00 (junk laying around) and my wife was nice enough to break the handle on my broom for me to use. :mad: The rare earth magnet is actually out of a hard drive.

    Went back to an old post and found a picture...

    [​IMG]
    Leroy_B, Jon1270, FireBones and 3 others like this.
  19. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    pretty slick...
  20. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    donnest: the broom handle/magnet idea is really good. I'm going to try that one as soon as I find a strong magnet.
  21. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    +1

    A piece of PVC pipe would be even lighter.
    Boog likes this.
  22. BillinTX

    BillinTX Member

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    I use old fiberglass fishing rods to make mine.
    I soldered one to a bar nut but it kept breaking loose so I had the same idea as the OP and added a spring.

    IM001406.JPG

    I also made a couple with hard drive magnets. I used the original hard drive bracket and a 3" toggle bolt to mount the rods to the magnet.

    IM001402.JPG
    Boog and albert1029 like this.
  23. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I've been known to pull out a tape measure and can of golf course turf paint to mark larger trunks. Seems that my eyeball calibration is only good to about 16" diameter trunks or so, then the cut's mysteriously wind up getting longer.

    BTW for the "It doesn't matter!" crowd, if you're gonna post pics of your stacks on Hearth.com, they darn sure better be straight an uniform throughout. :p;lol
    Boog likes this.
  24. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    BTW for the "It doesn't matter!" crowd, if you're gonna post pics of your stacks on Hearth.com, they darn sure better be straight an uniform throughout. :p;lol[/quote]

    That's why you havn't seen any photos of mine.:p
  25. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the ideas. So I went and made something up.
    I don't mind too much if my cuts are longer than 16 ,but sometimes I end up cutting them shorter and I don't like that.
    I have a bunch of ,amateur band 2 meter, fire stick type mobile antennas, that I got free with an electronics grab box ,they have a tunable whip on the end , I have used them to make flags for off-road, and bicycles , so I took one apart and voilà , the nylon part on the end has a quarter inch Stub and it just so happens it is a 1/4-20 thread, so I grabbed a wing nut ,stuck it in the hole in the bar, and tightened it up , once tightened it will stay tight because the one part is nylon .
    This thing is very light weight,and it is flexible .
    Painted it red to see it.
    I didn't have a magnet on hand so this is what I came up with , takes only about 3 seconds to put on or take off.

    Saw Marker.jpg
    'bert, Jon1270 and BillinTX like this.

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